"The Tender and the Tough" - Ephesians 6
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS - Dr. C. R. OLIVER
August 1, 2019
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
August 1, 2019
"The Tender and the Tough" - Ephesians 6
You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE
Four segments are covered in this chapter. The range is from Tender to Tough, as each section details interpersonal relationships: first, dealing with children; then, slaves and their masters; then, battling evil by donning the whole armor of God and concluding with a personal appeal from Paul.
Honoring Father and Mother:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: 3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
The loving, caring, husband of chapter five is now shown as the tender-hearted father, interacting with obedient children. His interest is in, "what is best for the child," and it affords a reverence and respect from his off spring (Unlike the lineages of I, II Kings and Chronicles, where child after child, "did evil in the sight the Lord in the steps of their fathers.").
Here, the admonition is to honor the believing father and mother - in that sequence. Like the heavenly order of Father and Son, the Christian Family is to be a reflection of divine transmission.
Notice this text is directed to the father. Paul is not commenting on non-believing fathers or mothers. He is not considering a pagan parent who leads a child astray or demands an action counter to the Word of God, for Deuteronomy 13:1 takes precedence in those matters. Paul is also assuming a resident father, not an absentee one. (This remains the Christian order, even though today's society is filled with single mothers and their children, many of whom are the result of broken marriages.)
A father is to be a role figure responsible for the children he spawns. In the Lord's eyes, he is to be the person who supplies security and well-being for his sons and daughters.
Paul opened chapter six with an admonition to children which had three aspects.
- Children are to obey their believing father.
- Children are to honor their father and mother.
- Children are to expect long life on earth because their heavenly Father has said it!
Paul, then, quickly turns to the father's responsibilities. He is to be careful not to breed resentment, by provoking a child to wrath. (The question of the day is, "how many children fit this category?")
Anger and frustration, whether displayed or internalized, mars the countenance of thousands of youngsters. (The antidote is to, "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.") It is the father's knee that must be a safe haven. It is the father's hand which must steady the walk of an ever changing dependent. It is the father who leads his family to worship. It is the father's voice that calms fears of the unknown. His reassuring presence resembles the heavenly Father.
Notice verse four speaks of training the child. Solomon wrote:
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(In Northwest Arkansas, there is a community of saints who take seriously these admonitions. The families who live there home school their children. They use the Bible as the principle text,
along with Christian views of history, science, math and all other curriculum considerations.
The children are taught Hebrew and Greek, as well as other languages. Each of them plays a musical instrument and also sings. Their countenances are pure and clear. This community focuses on family and the place of the father in the home, proving that Paul's invective can be accomplished today.)
Sadly, public education is devoid of Biblical principles, in that they teach a social agenda which is counter to the Bible and often is reinforced by errant parents. Hence, there is a generation of rash, self-centered children who do not honor their parents.
Godly training involves correction, guidance and example. The believing father corrects his children while nurturing their self-image and directing them towards proper behavior. The Christian father steers the family toward unity and inter-investment among siblings.
Alas, the public of today is the result of failure in the home to follow Paul's model.
Churches, too, have failed to address these issues with rancor. Hence, there is a voting population that finds no difficulty supporting abortion, gender neutrality and leftist ideology. Many are the victims of the massive assault on children in this society.
There has been an assault on children through the public schools for a long time, espousing a bent curriculum sanctioned by teachers' unions. Increasingly, there is the absence of classical literature, national history, as envisioned by the founding fathers, and the fact students are being brainwashed against Christian principles and practices.
Children are being overwhelmed by the onslaught of sex, drugs and societal pressures. They deal with issues beyond their years and wrestle with problems which stack up as high as mountains. What is the solution? It is believing fathers! It is fathers who must take their sacred places in homes and exercise their God-given duties. It is fathers who are not the bumbling idiots characterized by mass media, who must rise up. It is fathers, trusting in the living God and following the Spirit, who must be central in the rearing of their children. It is fathers, supported by mothers, who are the epitome of chapter five's admonition.
Consider this Nineteenth Century message from C.H. Spurgeon:
"Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation."
- Joel 1:3
In this simple way, by God's grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land - the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord's arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or other friendly aids, these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental teaching is a natural duty - who so fit to look to the child's well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots Popery is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents' prayers and admonition. (Spurgeon's rail against Popery might well be expanded to educational agendas and media corruption in the modern day.)
Superiors and subordinates:
Slavery (bondservants)was a fact in Paul's day, and it was not condemned by his society. His epistle of Philemon is a perfect example of what is being taught in these next verses. Onesimus, the runaway slave, ministered to Paul and thus proved his Christian embodiment. He was to be welcomed when he returned to his Christian Master and treated as a brother, although it did not change the fact he was a slave.
Today, we still have those whose rank make them superiors in companies, industry, military, government and society. There are still subordinates who are under their command. Christians are to treat each other with mutual respect as believers, no matter what their station. Note: this was an extremely sensitive subject during Paul's day. Here is how Paul addressed the matter.
5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
This brief, but concise, teaching cut across social boundaries and plainly prescribed a formula for treating one's neighbor and fellow Christian. Bondservants were to reverence (fear) and be in obedience to their masters (trembling at the thought of the consequences for not obeying). They were not to take the course of many, who half-smilingly went about their duties cursing their plight and their masters under their breath. Eye service and men pleasing does not relay what must be the Christian worker's attitude. His service is to be unto Christ, while doing the will of God from the heart. He or she must keep in mind their reward comes from higher up, even though their master gives no accolades.
How does this affect the modern workplace? There are instances where superiors, or even other workers, make it difficult to be a Christian in their presence. Bad attitudes and poor work ethics make employment conditions untenable. However, Christian workers should give their best as workers for Christ and realize there is reward for such service.
Woe to those who are in leadership and are employment superiors who do not appreciate or treat well their underlings. Here is what James writes:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned; you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Again, Paul is addressing only Christian bondservants and masters, while James is addressing the general public. Nonetheless, there are applications in modern society which approximate both scenarios.
The two Scriptures have a central theme; they both ultimately are reminding their constituents about their responsibility to God. It is a marvelous thing to see businesses who operate using Christian principles and who display the harmony realized in believer interaction.
Battling in God's armor:
Moving from the tender perspective of a loving family and mutually respectful work places, Paul turns to the tough-minded soldier, battling spiritual darkness. What he is describing here is an evil empire, a kingdom of darkness, which is behind all the evil which individuals and groups employ. Our weapons are not carnal. Christ had no use for Simon's ear directed sword. Jesus did approve an hour-long prayer meeting in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Simon's earlobing incident. This should have been a time when the disciples were battling the forces of evil (who were nigh at hand) through fasting and prayer. They slept. Their Master sweat great drops of blood as He confronted the evil which lay ahead.
It helps to dissect what is said in these verses:
l. We are to be strong in the Lord (enabled to show, "I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me.").
2. …and in the power of His might. (He is able to make one an overcomer.)
kratos (krat'-os); perhaps a primary word; vigor ["great"] (literally or figuratively): KJV - dominion, might [-ily], power, strength.
3. Put on "the whole armor of God (in other words, don't leave off one item mentioned
4. that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…13 Therefore take up
"the whole armor of God," that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and
having "done all, to stand.
Notice the double command to put on the Whole Amor of God and STAND.
Notice the two things to be overcome are the wiles of the devil and the evil day.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Who is the real enemy of the believer? Is it governmental coercion? Is it religious persecution? Is it social pressure? Is it castigation by individuals and/or groups? No, it is principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of the age and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.
Again, it helps to dissect what is being said, by taking it in sections.
l. Stand against the wiles of the devil.
methodeia (meth-od-i'-ah); from a compound of NT:3326 and NT:3593 [compare "method"]; travelling over, i.e. travesty (trickery): KJV - wile, lie in wait. This is the roaring lion waiting for his pray; this is the conniver with his bag of tricks; this is a cunning adversary who has no scruples and who attacks without mercy or trepidation.
(If there is a method by which he can employ to serve his purpose, he will use it.)
2. We wrestle with spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. (Daniel proved this truth by the angel from the Lord who was delayed because of the dark forces over the national government of Babylon. I believe this was why those who were defeated joined forces with the spirits over the nation of Persia. They then conquered Babylon and proved that all history is spiritual history by joining both nations as one.)
Spiritual wrestling is intimate, hand to hand combat. Once the enemy attacks, the battle is on and only one walks away unscathed.
3. We battle all kinds of demonic plots hatched by those who are in hierarchical positions.
Principalities are formidable enemies. for they are commanders of high rank.
NT:746 arche (ar-khay'); from NT:756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concretely) chief (in various applications of order, time, place, or rank):
KJV - beginning, corner, (at the, the) first (estate), magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule.
Strategies are being used to kill, steal and destroy the believer. (Is there any wonder, in present society who is behind the anti-Christian forces seeking to attack the Civil liberties of the believer?)
Powers are those who are given control over every evil work.
NT:1849 exousia (ex-oo-see'-ah); from NT:1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence: KJV - authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.
They consider the world as their kingdom where they make the rules and every
born again believer is their enemy - for their constant prayer is, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." We are the enemy and the
battle is on against all we hold dear and all we have influence over.
Rulers of Darkness of the age:
NT:2888 kosmokrator (kos-mok-fat'-ore); from NT:2889 and NT:2902; a world-ruler, an epithet of Satan: KJV - ruler.
The highest rank in the evil order.
Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places:
A spiritual host is one who feeds off wickedness to the point of "being wickedness." His only thought, only desire, only reality is to embody total wickedness.
NT:4189 poneria (pon-ay-ree'-ah); from NT:4190; depravity, i.e. (specifically) malice; plural (concretely) plots, sins: KJV - iniquity, wickedness.
NT:4190 poneros (pon-ay-ros'); from a derivative of NT:4192; hurtful, i.e. evil (properly, in effect or influence, and thus differing from NT:2556, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from NT:4550, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively, calamitous; also (passively) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: KJV - bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked (-ness). See also NT:4191.
NT:4191 poneroteros (pon-ay-rot'-er-os); comparative of NT:4190; more evil:
KJV - more wicked.
NT:4192 ponos (pon'-os); from the base of NT:3993; toil, i.e. (by implication) anguish:
KJV - pain.
No wonder Paul addressed the Ephesians as lights in the darkness. We are to remember the power of God is greater than the combined power of the dark evil empire. The strength of the Lord to deliver his own out of the hands of the enemy and bring victory to them is real and active; but the child of God must be equipped so he does not become a casualty. Our job is to put on the whole armor and stand!
This message is not just for the individual warrior. Oh no, this is the way the church of the Lord
Jesus must look. This is the formidable army of the Lord. I believe Paul saw the Roman troops on parade. I believe he understood the reason for their battle attire. I believe he beheld their training for an army with what was called, "the Roman Phalanx."
In the early days of the Roman Republic, military tactics were influenced by the methods used by the successful Greek Army. The combat formation used by the Greeks and Romans was called the phalanx. This involved soldiers standing side by side in ranks. ... The phalanx formation was used for hundreds of years.
The phalanx formation was a close-rank, dense grouping of warriors armed with long spears and interlocking shields. ... The strength of the Greek phalanx lay in the endurance and discipline of the soldiers who made up the closely-packed rectangular formation of shields and spears.
The church is to declare the grace and power of God to the heavens, where the gates of hell cannot prevail against it! Paul is not describing a symbol; he is describing what God expects to see when His people are viewed - clothed and standing, ready for battle.
It is time to marshal the troops; it is time to fall into ranks and be determined to win. When one sings the old song, "Onward Christian Soldiers, marching out to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before," he or she is not speaking about a symbol but an occupation. We need to be that kind of Christian soldier, fighting back against the field of moral and spiritual degradation that rises against all that we believe. Instead, the church acquiesces, sleeping with the enemy, hoping all will turn out well.
The Uniform (the whole armor):
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints - 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
1.Waist girded with truth,
2. Breast plate of righteousness
3. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
4. Shield of faith, quenching all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
5. Helmet of salvation
6. Sword of the Spirit
7. Prayer: praying always for all the saints, with prayer and supplications IN THE SPIRIT
(Paul asks for prayer that he may be bold in his witness while in chains. How
much more do we need such prayer, but where does one go to find it?)
The whole armor of God is not exclusive to this passage-take the following for instance.
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
2 Corinthians 6:3-10:
We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fasting's; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
21 But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; 22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Notice how Paul is personal and open with verses 21-24. He evokes God's peace and love in faith with grace upon those who love his Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Perhaps, he knew some
who were not sincere? That is still a huge qualifier.
Until Next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
From Missionary Bob Ledden Ministries:
Bob Ledden Ministries, Inc.
1321 SW Phyllis Dr.
McMinnville, Oregon 97128
Email: Bob Ledden Ministries
Email: Bob Ledden Personal Email
Bob Ledden Ministries Facebook
I SO appreciate your helping to purchase the car. It is such a blessing; it also gets fantastic gas mileage (a definite plus).
This ministry requires a LOT of traveling, not only across town, but out of town. Now, by having this car, I am also able to heal much quicker from the surgery earlier this year. (No more bumpy bus rides; no more walking 1 1/2 miles to classes.)
God bless you, and the person who donated these funds. God bless all of you.
Bob Ledden Ministries, Inc.
From Ghiorghi Cazacu:
Restoring Families and
Transforming Nations by
Making Disciples of
Our Lord Jesus Christ
Gospel Ministries International, Inc.
P. O. Box 661
Belleville, IL 62222
We are so very thankful and humbled by all of the prayers, love and support for Ghiorghi's recovery, his family and the GMI ministry. From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank everyone who is helping them through this challenging time, whether it is prayer or to help provide a replacement vehicle to continue to do the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry is ongoing through the national missionaries and all projects continue to go forward as the Lord provides.
As for Ghiorghi's recovery, we are so very thankful that he can now walk on crutches and has even been able to go down the stairs to take part in the church services held at the headquarters and venture outside. Until now, he was confined to the hospital bed but now can enjoy the beautiful summer outside. The doctor's report that we just received has created much excitement as he was pleased with the recovery and recent X-rays. At the end of August, Ghiorghi will be able to graduate to walking with a cane and he is so very excited!
Again, we want to thank you all so very much, especially for your prayers. We look forward to continuing to serving the Lord Jesus Christ on the mission field here in Eastern Europe!
Blessings in Christ
From A Word In Season:
Persecution Posts - West Africa
ALL 4 WORE CROSSES - NEW BURKINA FASO ATTACK LEAVES BELIEVERS DEAD
They had just gathered to share stories and the happenings of the day - like West African communities often do in the evenings - when strangers entered their village in northern Burkina Faso. Before the group left, they had killed four believers and had set fire to the shop of one of the Christians they executed.
Our field is reporting that on Thursday, June 27, unidentified armed individuals entered the village of Bani (about six miles from the town of Bourzanga), looking for Christians. According to testimonies gathered from survivors, the militants told everyone to lie down and proceeded to look for Christians by asking for first names or looking for anyone wearing Christian insignia (like crosses).
The deadly search yielded four men: David Zoungrana, his younger brother Philippe, Theophile Ouedraogo and Ernest Kassoaga. They were all wearing crosses. Contacts on the ground tell us that when they saw crosses, the assailants singled them out. All four were taken aside and executed.
At this stage, we don't know their ages or anything about the families David, Philippe, Theophile and Ernest left behind. Just that they followed Jesus - and their faith was part of them. They weren't afraid to make a public statement of their belief in an area known internationally for its display of seven adobe mosques - six of which are built at the top of Bani's main hill.
Before the terrorists left the village, they torched the shop that belonged to Zoungrana. Then they moved on to another village, Pougrenoma, also in the Bourzanga region. There, they warned residents against calling in any government officials or military forces, indicating they would return. They also told Christians to convert or risk execution.
From Mr. and Mrs. Larry Senn:
This is Mr. and Mrs. Larry Senn, a man who a few years ago was lying paralyzed with ALS (Atrophic Lateral Sclerosis) a malady which renders a person completely immobile (from moving his body,arms, legs) and paralyzes as it moves up the body until it is impossible to speak or swallow. (My brother died from this).
Jesus came into his room and touched him and told him to get out of bed.
and walked into the hospital lobby completely healed - some fainted, as there is no cure for this disease.
He will speak at our next annual meeting. In every service at the missions conference held at the Family Worship Center, Leesville, Louisiana, he was in the aisle, lifting his hands in praise and dancing before the Lord, thanking Him for His miraculous healing power.
From Ron and Christi Bishop:
Ron & Christi Bishop
7608 Westmoreland Drive
Sarasota FL 34243
They were in Romania with Bother Cazacu and were traveling with him and were in the car as it wrecked.
Ron and Christi will speak at our next annual meeting.
Dr. OLIVER'S BOOKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE KINDLE ON AMAZON.COM AND FOR THE NOOK AT BARNES & NOBLE!
Paperback volumes may still be ordered through our website.
To see the currently available books from Amazon, click on the cover images below.
To see the currently available books from Barnes & Noble, click on the cover images below.
To subscribe to this newsletter, please complete the following form and click "Subscribe". A confirming email will then be sent to your email address.